Reunion Across the Pond
I really did sleep in this morning, and one thing that I have learned is that when an 80 lb dog wants to get in your room – he will get in your room. Boris, my temporary roommate at the Airbnb, decided to body slam against the door this morning and after crashing the obstruction down he settled comfortably next to the bed.
I leaned over the side. “Well, good morning to you too,” I said. His tail thumped in response and he looked at me expectantly. I gave him a scratch on the head and then decided it was time to get up.
I took my time getting ready because my train wasn’t until about 1:10pm. I wanted to take advantage of the wifi (and I had actually realized that my phone didn’t charge overnight) so I sent off a few photos and emails. When 11:30pm rolled around, I hefted my pack on my shoulders and set off again. I was a little sad to say goodby to my furry new friend with his one floppy ear, but I gave him one more scratch for good measure and said farewell.
I was excited to be seeing the hubby today!
One thing that I was really thankful for was a mall that was connected to the train station. I sat down and had a nice coffee and sandwich, and before I knew it, it was time to go.
We don’t have trains in the US, and after traveling via train for the past few days (and to be fair, the past few weeks – moving around Italy was a breeze) I think it’s a bit of a shame. Traveling by train has been pretty nice. I love watching the landscape whiz by, and it’s been a great opportunity to catch up on some reading.
I finished another book recently, and was starting a new one by Neil Gaiman. I switched between reading and lazily watching the scenery pass by. During the tail end of the ride, a nice couple and I chatted a bit. They were from Durham, and they were visiting Aberdeen to hear their daughter during one of her performances. They had also struck up a conversation with the young man who was sitting across from me (did I say ‘young man’? I did. I feel so old, but it’s definitely the right thing to call him because he was basically 20 years old). He had on a Westminster Chorus shirt and was also in the choir.
“Are you here for school?” the woman asked.
“Ah, no,” I said. “I have been working for a while now,” I said. “I wish I were in school,” I added. I mentioned that I was meeting the hubby.
“You look too young to be married!” she exclaimed.
I hate to admit it, but it’s still always nice to hear when people say that. I know it’s not going to be that way forever.
When we arrived at Edinburgh, we said farewell and I was on my way.
The hubby had basically planned our entire Scotland excursion because I had asked him to help me out (I was quite a bit preoccupied with other parts of the trip, including Italy). He booked a hotel that was pretty close to the train station, so after a leisurely walk down Princes street I found the location.
When I checked in, I have to admit: it was most definitely the nicest place of my trip thus far.
In an odd way, it suddenly felt like I changed gears from “journey” mode to “vacation” mode. Even though it was tempting to take a shower and lounge around the room, I wanted to make the most of the day so I went to have a nice afternoon tea (after all, when in the UK…)
I caught up on a few more things and decided that I had some time to take a walk around (I also needed to work off all the food from the afternoon tea). I wound my way back up and through Old Town and all the way down until I was at the Holyrood Park.
I started to go up the rather craggy and steep route when I realized that I was hindered by my poor choice in footwear (I had changed into TOMS). Since I didn’t want to twist an ankle just as my ‘vacation’ with the hubby was about to start, I decided to go on the larger path. As I made my way up, I was rewarded by another great view of the city.
I suddenly thought that it was probably a good idea to turn back around and start making my way back to the hotel. Just as I turned a heel and started walking, I instinctively put my hand in my pocket and pulled out my phone and realized that the hubby had texted.
“Got the car. On my way!!”
My heart leapt into my throat.
“Oh no,” I thought. I sent him a text back: “Eek walking back now! You might beat me.”
I made my way as quickly as I could down the path (hoping again that I wouldn’t twist or sprain my ankle) and then was back on the street. I started to walk a little faster, willing that my timing would be just right. I hated the idea of him waiting around for me, especially after his long day of travel.
Soon, I was back on the street of our hotel and I spied a familiar jacket of red and blue. The hotel receptionist passed me by. “I showed him the way,” he said. I burst into a run. He turned around and smiled, and we gave each other a much needed, much overdue hug.
“Did you wait long?” I asked anxiously.
“Just two minutes,” he said. “Perfect timing.”
This was then followed by: “You’re a bit sweaty.”
We went to go park the car and then went back to the room and showered to refresh. Soon, we were on our way again on the hunt for dinner. At this point, he hadn’t eaten for a long time.
He had found a place online in Old Town called Devil’s Advocate. When we walked in, the ambiance was very nice but, as with most good places, it was too popular and we were unable to get a seat.
We decided to try another place called The Arcade, only to strike out one more time.
For the third place, the hubby finally gave up.
“I’ll spend the $2.00 and call the place,” he said. He found another restaurant and gave them a call and got the affirmative that we could get a seat for dinner.
The place we went to was called Sligh House. When we arrived, it was a cool, modern place playing old school and more modern hip hop, neatly decorated with florescent lighting. We ordered a cocktails and settled in.
In addition to being happily reunited with the hubby, another joyous part of this reunion also meant my brand new lens had arrived. I ended up happily reacquainting myself with my functioning camera again.
We were soon seated for dinner, where we ordered a plethora of dishes.
After a few hours of conversation, we decided it was probably best to head back and sleep.
Before getting ready for bed, he handed me a note composed by some friends in San Francisco. I love our friends (Rina, Josh, Jay – if you’re reading this, your note was much loved and appreciated by the recipient).
Our trip in Scotland is going to be a bit nonstop, and tomorrow we make our way to Islay, which is about a three and a half hour drive (and a two hour ferry).
The adventure continues tomorrow!